Books Hitting Theaters This Year

What is your opinion on movies based on books?  Love them or hate them?  I am generally a fan.  Seeing a story portrayed on the big screen, complete with elaborate costumes, carefully planned scenes, and living-and-breathing characters really brings a story to life.  The nonverbal communication between characters is emphasized when watching a story in movie form, and let's not forget the importance of a soundtrack in highlighting changes in mood throughout the story and amplifying important scenes.  Movies also bring stories to a wider audience than do books.  I absolutely loved The Great Gatsby movie after re-reading the book.  I thought the characters, music, and scenes were perfect for portraying the era.  The Help is another example of an amazing story (one of my favorite books I've read in the past 5 years) that was brought to a wider audience through film.  And don't forget that Forrest Gump and The Shawshank Redemption, two of the best movies of the 1990s (in my opinion), were based on books.

On the other hand, it can be frustrating to watch a movie based on a favorite book when a lot of important details are eliminated.  (Every Harry Potter movie, for instance.)  However, I truly loved every Harry Potter movie, despite the absent scenes from the books, and I just need to remind myself that the film directors are on a mission to bring an entertaining story to a wide audience, maintaining enough details for the plot to make sense, but also keeping the movie short enough that we can sit in the theater through the end.  (Let's be real; the Harry Potter movies would each be 15 hours long if the directors matched the books exactly.)  It can also be frustrating when the movie takes on a new twist with a totally different ending than the book.  (My Sister's Keeper, for example.)  This must be really difficult for the authors to cope with.  

There are many different perspectives on the making of books into movies, but here are a few books that I've read or plan to read (or re-read!) this year before they hit the big screen:

Stay tuned later this month for a review of some of my favorite books of 2014 (so far)!


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